Cloture, filibusters, reconciliation process – these are not terms we use in our daily conversations. Yet they are very significant in describing the process by which legislation moves, or fails to move, through Congress. The rules of the House and those of the Senate govern what is the very intricate process of debating and passing or defeating legislation.
It can be very frustrating to see legislation we very much wish to see passed get bottled up in a committee, or stymied by what seems like political shenanigans. On the other hand, if we wish to be honest, we would admit that we’ve also been delighted to see what we deem as awful legislation meet that same fate.
It looks like Obamacare is about to fall victim to one of those arcane terms – in this case, the reconciliation process. In other words, it is extremely likely that Mr. Trump will not have long to wait before legislation repealing Obamacare, or at least significant parts of it, is on his desk. It’s interesting to learn how this will work.
Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, was rammed through Congress by the Democrats with the Republicans completely removed from the legislative process. One happy result was that the Democrats completely own the failed program, and thus cannot honestly point one finger at the Republicans for the program’s many failures.
Here’s how the repeal will work: “In an irony to end all ironies, Senate Republicans have introduced a plan to repeal Obamacare that uses reconciliation – the same tactic employed by Democrats to push the law into effect without Republican support – to prevent Democrats from being able to filibuster the resolution.”
Note that, “The Republicans do not have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate, but can use reconciliation to repeal aspects of the so-called Affordable Care Act using only 51 votes.”
The legislation has already been introduced: “Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced a budget resolution on Tuesday that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.”
Obamacare has been so controversial and riddled with so many problems, many beginning on day one, that you have to wonder why the Democrats would still wish to be associated with the monstrosity. Maybe some don’t, but are just going to try to put up a fight that’s more symbolic than anything else. In any event, using the rules of the Senate, it’s not going to matter what the Democrats do anyway.
Hence Mr. Obama’s planned meeting with Senate Democratic to propose a way to salvage his signature legislation appears to be a waste of time.
What we have here are the Republicans moving to repeal Obamacare using the very same legislative rules that were used by Democrats to enact it. And who says there isn’t fairness in Washington?
Source: The Political Insider